VICENZA, Italy – The U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) deputy commanding general visited Niger Dec. 1-6 to meet Nigerien Armed Forces (FAN) officials and talk to U.S. servicemembers deployed there.
Brig. Gen. Brian Cashman, SETAF-AF deputy commander, met with senior U.S. civilian and Nigerien Army leaders in Niamey to discuss security conditions and cooperation efforts.
Cashman talked with U.S. Embassy Chargé d'affaires a.i. Mr. Jonathan Fischer about the importance of Niger as a strategic partner to counter violent extremist organizations in the Sahel and security force assistance to the Nigerien Army. He also discussed these topics with Commander of Niger Special Operations Forces BG Barmou and the Niger army’s acting Chief of Operations Col Nabani.
"On any given day across Africa, more than 2,000 Soldiers are supporting U.S. strategic and security interests alongside like-minded partners," Cashman said. "Alongside our Nigerien partners, our Soldiers and other U.S. servicemembers are enabling a joint and multinational effort to counter violent extremist organizations and improve the capabilities of the FAN. Their work is critical to keeping Americans safe whether in Africa, in the U.S. and around the world."
Cashman met servicemembers stationed at Air Base 201, a U.S. Air Force logistics hub in central Niger near Agadez. Cashman talked with base leadership about ongoing Civil Affairs activities. Soldiers from the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based out of Naval Station Newport, conduct civil affairs operations in support of the U.S. Air Force 409th Air Expeditionary Group there.
The Service Members deployed to AB201 support U.S. Africa Command’s mission to continually assist Niger’s efforts toward greater stability, enhanced security, and economic development.
Cashman also visited Camp Agali in the southwest of Niger near Dosso, where the Army’s 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade out of Fort Bragg, N.C., trained with the Nigerien army to improve capabilities.
"The 2nd SFAB has changed the game for security force assistance in Africa," Cashman said. "In the past, we used rotational units from across the Army to support hundreds of security cooperation cases every year. Each year, we'd start all over, with new introductions, new faces and new places. We are much more effective now with the alignment of the 2nd SFAB with SETAF-AF in support of AFRICOM. They're not only building and maintaining important relationships with our African security partners, but delivering an expanded breadth of capabilities."
SETAF-AF is responsible for coordinating all U.S. Army activities in Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa. U.S Army activities include military readiness exercises across the continent, hundreds of security force assistance engagements, crisis response and enduring posture support. These activities strengthen partner networks in Africa, build partner capacity against regional and global security threats, and provide strategic access for U.S. forces in contingency operations.
U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) is responsible for achieving U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Campaign Plan objectives while conducting all U.S. Army operations, exercises and security cooperation on the African continent.